By Allison Sharp
Have any of you ever played “I-Spy?” Before the age of electronic toys, I would play this game in the car with my children. “I spy with my little eye a … blue car.” The children would then look around until they saw the blue car, and the first one to see it would be the next person to “spy” something.
Even better than the game is an I-Spy quilt (mostly because quilts are better than just about anything). These quilts usually contain many different shapes, objects, designs, and pictures, so you play I-Spy with whatever you find on the quilt. Below are photos of some great I-Spy blocks. Can you find the ninja with the green belt?
How many chicks do you see with two eyes?
You can also look for the cactus with a pink flower.
Or the carrots with three leaves.
I found most of my fabric in an I-Spy kit sold by my local fabric store, but you can find them at the websites I’ve listed below. I also bought ¼ yard of fabrics I adored, though I used only about 5” from each piece. (You can, of course, always make more quilts from the extra fabric. I’ve even started a scrap box of just I-Spy appropriate prints.)
I cut all of my fabric into 5” squares.
The biggest challenge of an I-Spy quilt is arranging the squares. Some quilters put all the squares next to each other with no other fabric in between. (Photo courtesy of partiesandpatterns.blogspot.com.)
Here’s another example of this arrangement using fabric with larger pictures and coordinated colors. (Photo courtesy of Bethadeezoo, via Flickr.) Finding these perfect fabric pieces, by the way, would take a lot of patience and time (and buying lots of fabric of which you’d use only 5”).
Other quilters put sashing (thin strips of fabric) between some or all of the blocks. This takes more time, but makes the quilt look a little more cohesive. (Photo courtesy of obsessivelystitching.blogspot.com.)
Here’s another cute design. (Photo courtesy of GreeneQuiltsAndMore at etsy.com.)
I opted for green sashing around 12 groups of four squares. I auditioned lots of fabric colors for the sashing, but liked the green the best. Here is the finished quilt top. The green ties it together nicely.
By the time I finished the quilt top, I had two days to finish quilting before leaving to visit one of my cute grandchildren. (Yes, the quilt was for her.) I decided to pick an easy quilting design of mostly straight lines and a simple flower shape for the squares. The straight lines were easy.
The flower design in the squares was rather time consuming. The photo below shows the flower design on the back of the quilt, where it is much easier to see.
The next photo shows the flower design from the top of the quilt. The design doesn’t stand out enough to warrant the amount of time it took to quilt it. On a positive note, no one has actually analyzed my quilt design but me, so everyone else who saw it loved it. Remember! Never point out your mistakes (unless you’re writing a blog)! No one else will notice them but you—unless you tell everyone where they are.
The person I was really trying to please was my granddaughter, and I think she liked it. (In the photo below, everyone’s fingers are blurry because they are so busy pointing at things.)
Join me next month. I have more great quilts to show you!
*You can find I-Spy kits at many etsy stores and quilting websites. Just google “I Spy Quilt Kits.” Here are just a few examples:
Like this one from Ceaseless Praise’s Etsy Shop.
Or this one from BerryBirdy’s Etsy Shop.
Or this one from Missouri Star Quilt Co.